The powers of Fire Inspectors are set out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
An inspector can enter any premises to inspect if he believes it is necessary to do so, but cannot use force unless a warrant has been obtained.
To identify whether the provisions of the Order apply to the premises and whether the legal requirements have been complied with, the inspector can make such enquiries as are considered necessary, including the requirement to produce information that is required to be kept by law (such as a risk assessment). Copies can be taken of this information, whether it is in paper or computer format.
In a parallel to Health & Safety powers, an inspector can also require any person having responsibility for the premises to give him facilities and assistance as are necessary to enabling him to exercise his powers, for example by providing an office space to interview members of staff.
It is also possible for an inspector to take samples of any articles or substances to test their fire resistance or flammability and if an article or substance is identified that may have caused or is likely to cause danger he can require it to be dismantled or tested.